After a long winter, the MLB opening weekend schedule for 2023 is finally upon us.
Opening weekend in 2023 is officially when we stop talking about what happened during the offseason and start watching games that matter. It’s officially time to take one last look at the preseason World Series odds and focus on the MLB opening weekend schedule in 2023.
MLB Opening Weekend schedule 2023
MLB’s opening weekend in 2023 features nine matchups between division rivals, three interleague series, and two matchups between a pair of teams that made the postseason last year.
Naturally, the starting pitching matchups will be something to watch closely with every team sending their best pitchers to the mound during the opening weekend of the season.
While not every game stands out, let’s take a look at the must-watch games on the MLB opening weekend schedule in 2023.
Giants vs Yankees
In a historical context, this is one of the most fascinating series of the opening weekend of the season. The Giants used to play in New York, and now they get to begin a new season playing in New York when they visit the Yankees.
To be fair, the Giants aren’t necessarily heading into the 2023 season as one of the top favorites in the National League. However, the Yankees are on a quest to finally unseat the Astros as the premier team in the American League and end their championship drought, so there is a little pressure on them to get off to a fast start. Plus, Yankee Stadium is one of those places that’s special on opening day.
Brewers vs Cubs
Speaking of places that are special on opening day, look no further than Wrigley Field.
Who wouldn’t want to experience the magic of Wrigley Field on opening day? That’s particularly true this year with the Cubs hosting the rival Brewers on opening day.
It’s fair to expect plenty of fans to travel from Milwaukee to Chicago for the opening weekend, creating a great atmosphere in the stadium. Plus, both teams are hoping to take a huge step forward after a disappointing finish to the 2022 season, so both will be eager to get some wins during the opening weekend of the season.
Phillies vs Rangers
After playing in the World Series last year, the Phillies are one more intriguing teams heading into 2023. Philly has made some bold moves during the winter, especially the addition of Trea Turner, with the hope of getting them over the hump, so expectations are high for the Phillies.
At the same time, the Rangers are hoping that their massive spending over the last two years can help them make waves. Keep in mind that Jacob deGrom is likely to make his Texas debut on opening day, adding to the intrigue around the Rangers and around this series.
Blue Jays vs Cardinals
This interleague series between the Blue Jays and Cardinals is one of two series during opening weekend between a pair of playoff teams from last season. The city of St. Louis is always a great place to enjoy opening day, especially when the Cards are favorites to win the NL Central, which is the case again this year.
At the same time, the Blue Jays are one of the top teams in baseball to watch this season. Toronto has a dynamic core of young players and has added some pieces over the winter. Believe it or not, this series on opening weekend could easily turn into a World Series preview.
Mets vs Marlins
Based on the money they’ve spent this offseason, the Mets should be one of the best MLB teams ever this season. It’s obviously too soon to say something like that, but the Mets figure to send both Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer to the mound during the first weekend of the series in Miami.
New York’s lineup isn’t half bad either, so the Mets have a lot of reasons to be excited about the start of the season. But don’t overlook the Marlins, who have reigning Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara to start on opening day. They’ve also added the likes of Luis Arraez, Jean Segura, and others during the offseason, giving them a fighting chance to make some noise in the NL East.
Diamondbacks vs Dodgers
Expectations are always high in Los Angeles, which is why opening day is always a big deal for the Dodgers. Of course, the Dodgers weren’t among the biggest spenders during the offseason, so it’s fair for them to be some skepticism that they can maintain the level of dominance over the rest of the NL West that they’ve established in recent years.
At the same time, the Diamondbacks have the type of young talent that could put them on the verge of a breakout season in 2023. If Arizona can pull off a couple of surprise wins over the Dodgers during the opening weekend of the season, it could signal a fascinating season ahead in the NL West.
Guardians vs Mariners
Believe it or not, this is the second series of the opening weekend that involves two teams that were playoff teams last season. The question for both of them is whether they can keep it going, which is why the first series of the season will be important, as both the Guardians and Mariners try to set the right tone.
The Guardians have a division title to defend and figure to be challenged by multiple teams in the AL Central. Meanwhile, the Mariners still have a lot to prove because they are hoping to keep pace with the Astros in the AL West and want to prove that their success in 2022 wasn’t a fluke. That makes a fast start in 2023 critical to their success this season.